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Evidenced Based Practice as a Change Agent

Written by kimmel52 on January 8, 2012 – 10:03 pm


Evidenced based practice as a change agent
nancy kimmel
November 4, 2014

Evidenced based practice as a change agent
Researching as a Team
Change begins with acknowledging a common problem and having the curiosity to research that problem in hopes of finding documented solutions(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). The BSN nurse is trained to be the agent of change(Video Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). The change agent should encourage nursing staff to participate in research regarding the problem at hand. This helps with building the teamwork ethic among staff. Assessing the literature requires a keen eye for gaps. Gaps, are what is known about a problem or if that problem has not been thoroughly tested(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 69). Gaps also occur when there is only one or two case studies regarding a problem, insufficient information or lack of proven results(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 69). For instance, a single study that only incorporates 50 test subjects, regardless of the strength of the statistical results is not sufficient evidence for evidenced based practice to be implemented. On the other hand, 20 or more similar case studies with strong statistical evidence to support the research question, would allow one to generalize the findings to a wider population(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 69).
Practical Transition
Finding a solution to a problem as a group is a euphoric experience. However, taking that solution and putting into practice is a different matter. There are many pitfalls to the implementation of any new ideas or practice theories. Suppose the change that will take place requires a special device. This device costs money. The question is, will the hospital provide the financing for such equipment or supplies? All new protocol must be documented on the floors policy and procedure manual which utilization review must first approve. Hence, the red tape.
The Iowa Model for EBP (Evidenced Based Practice) is a systematic method for organizational change(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 390) The Iowa Model diagrams the necessary steps to incorporate EBP in promoting better health care(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). The model provides a series of logical steps that assist the change agent in the decision making process.
Common Errors and Pitfalls
Not everyone is on the same page. The change agent should be sensitive to the fact that some nurses have no desire to engage in research, nor implement new care skills(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). Complex statistical evaluation and knowledge diffusion poses barriers to most practical nurses(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 396). Change is a process that creates an alteration in a person or the environment(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 397). While there is no exact answer how to implement change, theorists have suggested that preparation should be the first step(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). Beginning a journal club helps to engage others and encourages participation(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). The disciplined clinical inquiry model is helpful in structuring the journal club, by empowering nurses in clinical practice to consider the patient, clinical setting and resources(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 399). Kotter’s eight change phases model is simple in design and begins with establishing a sense of urgency(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 407).
While there is no one model fits all, the change agent should be aware of the important role they play in advocating change. Finding solutions to promoting better health care and positive patient outcomes is a responsibility of every nurse. Some nurses find that this is too much of a burden to bear in the context of their daily routines. Therefore the change agent needs to help with facilitating the process through preparation, empowerment of their staff nurses, encouragement and communication. Identification in the gaps of patient care is a team effort and all teams need a leader.

Huston, C. J. (2014). Collective Bargaining and the Professional Nurse. In Profesional issues in nursing challenges & opportunities (3rd ed., pp. 19-23. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a Wolters Kluwer business.
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Evidence-based practice for Nurses appraisal and application of research (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning .
Video Laureate Education, Inc. (2009, ). Research and scholarship for evidence-based practice: Introduction to evidence-based practice and research [Video file]. Retrieved from

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Critical Thinking in Nursing

Written by kimmel52 on January 8, 2012 – 9:57 pm

nurse pic

critical thinking in nursing
nancy kimmel
September 30, 2014

Critical Thinking in Nursing

As a new nurse, I remember how frightened I was that someone would die do my lack of experience or a poor judgment call. I will never forget my one instructor who said, “You will make a medication error at some point in your nursing career.” That statement shook me to the core. How could that happen? During my orientation on the medical/surgical step down unit, I witnessed nurses nonchalantly switching out I.V. bags of different solutions without first checking the drugs compatibility. What if one of those medications causes a precipitate to form in the line? Then what? Someone could die of an embolism!
Soon I was on my own shift with my own patient load. The fears that plagued me during nursing school did not magically disappear, but instead became magnified. I was a nervous wreck. How did these other nurses manage their patient load with such grace under pressure? When would this ominous fear of doing something wrong let up? For me, it never did. The delicate balance between life and death based on a decision or action is what kept me sharp. Eventually I was able to display a calm exterior while internally; I was ready to react at the slightest change in my patient’s condition. There were no cutting corners. I know that sounds crazy. Obviously, when there were no washcloths we had to use towels, or sometimes we had to make do with what supplies were on the floor. Did I ever deliberately cut a corner just to save time? The answer is no. Everything that I do is for my patient. Even the smallest action of making a toe pleat in the bed or mitering a corner was a action of respect for the patient in that bed.
Nursing school prepared me with critical thinking skills. As my experience as nurse progressed, I became better at assessing a patient’s condition. I would not say that I became an expert according to Benner’s Stages of Critical Competence.(Benner, 2011, para. 5)
Making a competent clinical decision is not based on just one lab result or a patient’s symptoms. The personality traits of going above and beyond, taking risks and deliberate practice seem to be the traits that make an expert nurse.(Kaminski, 2010, p. 967)
Benner’s Stages(Benner, 2011, table 1) verified that I have much to learn. I am looking forward to learning more about evidenced based practice and the critical thinking skills necessary in advanced practice nursing.
Advanced Practice Nurses have the responsibility of providing and documenting research on evidenced based practice for the nursing profession as a whole. Nursing continues to develop and progress into a clinical science. This development is due to the efforts of those nurses who understand the dynamics of change in the role of the nurse in today’s society.

Benner, P. (2011, December 20). “Staged” Models of Skills Acquisition. Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates. Retrieved from
Kaminski, J. (2010). Theory applied to Informatics- Novice to Expert. Retrieved from

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